Alex LaBella has enjoyed such a good experience while playing football at Huntington High School that he’s excited to keep his career going at Hobart College next fall.
Mr. LaBella was splendid for the Blue Devils offensively as a receiver and quarterback and on special teams as a kick returner, breaking several long runs on kickoffs and punts. He even punted the ball for Huntington. The teenager was named to the Suffolk All-Division team following his best season ever on the gridiron last fall.
The senior also runs on the Blue Devil indoor track 4x200m relay that reached the state championships this winter. He plans to play on the Huntington lacrosse team this spring.
Mr. LaBella was considering Wagner College, Sacred Heart University, Stevenson University, Utica College and SUNY Brockport before he finalized his plans to attend Hobart and play football for the Statesmen.
“Hobart was at the top of my list for quite some time,” Mr. LaBella said. “Even after I received offers to play football at all three NCAA division levels, I felt that Hobart was the next place I can call my home and where I would have the greatest impact.”
Huntington senior Alex LaBella.
Mr. LaBella’s senior year academic schedule includes classes in Financial Algebra, Astronomy, Animal Behavior, Bible as Literature, Humanities, Participation in Government and Economics. Among his favorite teachers and faculty advisors and those he has been closest to are Maria Canino, Paige Tyree, Danielle Lusardi, Michael Graziano and Ayallah Jeddah
Special memories include the Homecoming Day football game last fall and singing the national anthem solo prior to a varsity Blue Devil girls’ basketball game this past winter.
The standout event of Mr. LaBella’s time at Huntington came on Eli Mollineaux Day at Blue Devil Stadium in September 2016. “My biggest high school highlight was definitely having the opportunity to push one of my good friends, Eli Mollineaux down the field,” Mr. LaBella said.
Huntington toppled Smithtown West, 42-20, but the real highlight for the crowd of 1,500 came when Mr. Mollineaux scored a touchdown on a 50 yard “run” during an exhibition play near the start of the third quarter.
With the officiating crew in place, Mr. Mollineaux took a handoff and promptly took off in his wheelchair, making a beeline for the goal line. When he crossed over into the end zone both teams mobbed him, congratulating the teenager and wishing him well. Mr. LaBella was the one pushing Mr. Mollineaux’s wheelchair on that unforgettable afternoon.
Mr. Mollineaux passed away later that fall, but the memory of the day held in his honor will live on with everyone who participated in it, including Mr. LaBella.
As his days as a senior grow shorter, Mr. LaBella said one of things he will always remember about Huntington High School “is going to be all the faculty and staff members who really showed me a lot of love. Huntington High School is like one big family that I will never forget.”